The Rise of Visual Marketing: Instagram Houses 25 Million Businesses

Instagram has reported it has 25 million active businesses on its photo-sharing service, an app that’s looking more and more like an e-commerce social platform every day.

“With one in three small businesses on Instagram saying they built their business on Instagram, it’s become a destination where businesses are not only discovered, but where business is done,” Instagram wrote in a blog post.

The Facebook-owned platform announced the new milestone today, marking a boost of 10 million companies since July of this year. In fact, one in three of small businesses say they built their brands using Instagram.

The company reported more than 80 per cent of accounts on Instagram follow a business. But out of the 200 million users that visit one business profile every day, two-thirds of those taps come from people that aren’t yet following the brand.

The once photo-focused app can serve as a business’s a primary digital storefront too. A shopping feature once originally exclusive to select retailers, expanded the platform’s shoppable posts function to all U.S.-based businesses and Shopify merchants in October.

Businesses can turn Instagram photos into shoppable posts, by tagging products in a photo. A user can then tap on an image to see tagged items and open the tag for more product details, leading the customer to purchase the product through the business’s website or the in-app checkout.

Instagram and its parent company Facebook are both spearheading the growth of small businesses through their platforms that have huge advertising reach, showing the social applications can attract new customers to a brand and ultimately scale a company.

Kevin Chan, the head of Facebook’s Canadian public policy, said in October that Facebook has evolved beyond a social network and that it has become “an engine of economic growth for small businesses and startups.”